Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
With the start of the 2013-14 fantasy football season just around the corner, I thought I would make a few bold predictions based on what we've seen over the summer and through the first week of the preseason.
1) New England's Tom Brady may be the best quarterback in the NFL, or at worst in the top-three, but with the problems the Patriots have at wide receiver and tight end and the improving backfield talent, he'll throw for less yards than Andy Dalton. Brady's current fantasyfootballcalculator.com ADP is 48.6, the fifth quarterback off the board, but will likely finish the season closer to the middle of the pack than with the fantasy elite.
2) Darren McFadden won't play in all 16 games this season. OK, I'm sorry that's not very bold since he has never played in more than 13 games in any season over his five-year career. How about this one - C.J. Spiller will lead the league in yards from scrimmage. Adrian Peterson put up 2,314 yards last season, but Spiller posted 1,703 while only starting seven of 16 games. Now firmly entrenched as the starter and Bills' primary weapon, Spiller will outdistance them all.
3) Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson has a fantasyfootballcalculator.com ADP of 61.8, equating to the 24th receiver off the board. Given the lack of options in Philadelphia and the up tempo offense new coach Chip Kelly is expected to run, Jackson will have a "career year." He will finish the season as a top-10 wideout. And if he also handles punt returns, as has been rumored, he could jump up even higher in leagues which include return yardage.
4) While Jason Witten will lead all tight ends in receptions (it's good to be the quarterback's roommate on road trips), the best fantasy value will come from Rams' newly acquired tight end Jared Cook. The Tennessee Titans never used Cook correctly as they will see when Cook finishes the season as a top-five fantasy property. He should double his last season's totals which were 44 receptions for 523 yards and four scores.
5) The best defense/special teams will belong to Cincinnati. Yes, the Bengals. The Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks are all top quality defenses, but the team from southwest Ohio will outplay them all in 2013-14. There is a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball, led by All-Pro Geno Atkins. The Bengals gave up 20 ppg last season, but just 13.4 ppg and forced 20 turnovers over the final nine games including the playoffs.
6) Brett Favre still won't throw a pass, except perhaps in a Levi's commercial, though rumors of another comeback will surface again.